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Match Previews

Sky Bet League 1 weekend preview

27 February 2015

We look ahead to the weekend action in Sky Bet League 1.


Gillingham v Barnsley

Lee Johnson makes the trip to Gillingham in his first game as Barnsley boss, having left fellow Sky Bet League 1 club Oldham Athletic for Oakwell on Wednesday.

He joins Barnsley with the team in good spirits having won their past two to rise into 16th position on 41 points. The first of those victories was 2-0 at home to Crewe Alexandra before Johnson took his place in the stands at Scunthorpe to watch a 1-0 win.

Gillingham are just one point, but five places, higher than the Tykes, having recently made a change of management themselves. They’re undefeated in seven games, taking 17 points from a possible 21, with the most recent three of those being under the stewardship of Justin Edinburgh.

Barnsley tasted success in the reverse fixture back in August, running out 4-1 winners.


Oldham Athletic v Preston North End

Johnson left the dugout at Boundary Park after almost two years in the job, and first-team coach Dean Holden will make the step-up for the visit of Preston North End on Saturday.

Holden will be assisted by defender Adam Lockwood with the Latics able to burst into the Sky Bet League 1 Play-Off places.

Their quest for a top-six spot has been hampered in recent weeks with defeats to both Colchester United and Leyton Orient, without scoring. That has left Oldham ninth and two points from sixth position.

Preston, meanwhile, are fourth and could leapfrog faltering Swindon Town into third place.

Four successive victories, without conceding, has seen Simon Grayson’s North End move one point behind the Robins and just three points adrift of an automatic promotion spot.


Peterborough United v Bradford City

One of Holden’s former employers, Peterborough United, are also welcoming a new man into the dugout this Saturday as Dave Robertson pits himself against Bradford City following Darren Ferguson’s departure.

Ferguson left the ABAX Stadium following last weekend’s 3-0 drubbing by Milton Keynes Dons, with Robertson promoted from his role as academy and youth team manager.

His first game at the helm sees the visit of the Bantams, with Posh having won just once in their past five and Bradford losing only once in six. Although nine places separate these two sides, they are divided by only four points.

Phil Parkinson is looking to complete an achievement not yet done by any Bradford boss; in 12 attempts the club has never come away from Peterborough with a victory.


Coventry City v Milton Keynes Dons

It’s been a busy week of managerial changes in Sky Bet League 1, and Coventry City parted company with Steve Pressley. They host Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday.

The Scot took charge of 100 games with the final of those being a 2-2 draw with Sheffield United last weekend. His assistant Neil MacFarlane and professional development coach Dave Hockaday will lead the team for their clash against MK Dons.

The Sky Blues dropped into the relegation zone following that draw, one point from safety.

The Dons, meanwhile, moved into the automatic promotion spots after their win over Peterborough. Karl Robinson’s side are the highest scorers in the division, with 66 goals in 32 outings, but the game against Coventry at stadiummk back in August finished 0-0.


The Dons are chasing table-toppers Bristol City, who sit five points clear at the summit of the division ahead of their home tie with Rochdale.

City’s professional performance at Doncaster on Tuesday saw them pick up a 3-1 win, recovering from a 3-2 humbling by Colchester last weekend. Rochdale were beaten by Sheffield United in midweek and have now won just once in five.

Swindon sit outside the top two by two points and they make the journey to 19th-placed Crewe.

After a run of three straight defeats in February, Swindon bounced back with victory over Bradford in midweek, while Crewe have been defeated in their past two having won the three immediately before that.

Crawley against Sheffield United again sees a team battling against relegation host a side searching for promotion.

The Reds are 22nd following two successive victories which has seen them move to within one point of safety. The Blades are making incisions towards the other end – they sit fifth and have taken 13 points from the past 15 on offer.

Doncaster slipped out of the Play-Off positions last weekend following their defeat at Port Vale and another loss in midweek, against Bristol City, kept them seventh on goal difference.

Rovers welcome Colchester United to the Keepmoat on Saturday, and the U’s arrive in South Yorkshire on the back of a surprise 3-2 win over Bristol City which lifted them out of the bottom four.

Yeovil sit bottom of that bottom four, five points from safety, ahead of their trip to Scunthorpe United. The Glovers have just one victory in seven following last Saturday’s draw with Gillingham, while the Iron are 17th having lost 1-0 to Barnsley on Tuesday. 

Leyton Orient sit directly above Yeovil by three points and can make it three wins in four, against Walsall, who are are 14th and winless in three.

Fleetwood and Chesterfield are eighth and 10th respectively heading into their clash at Highbury. These two teams were both in Sky Bet League 2 last season, but the Spireites’ search for back-to-back promotions has suffered a blow with four consecutive defeats.

Notts County took 29 points from their first 16 league games of the season, but have since taken just nine from the next 15. That has seen them slip from fourth to 18th going into their fixture with 12th-placed Port Vale at Meadow Lane.


Saturday 28th February 2015

Bristol City v Rochdale
Chesterfield v Fleetwood Town
Coventry City v Milton Keynes Dons
Crawley Town v Sheffield United
Crewe Alexandra v Swindon Town
Doncaster Rovers v Colchester United
Gillingham v Barnsley
Notts County v Port Vale
Oldham Athletic v Preston North End
Peterborough United v Bradford City
Scunthorpe United v Yeovil Town
Walsall v Leyton Orient

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